Longhorn Bee (Melissodes bimaculata)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Longhorn Bee.
Updated: 5/22/2015; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The exceptionally long antennae, or "horns" on males help differentiate them from other bees.
Longhorn Bees have antennae that are about twice as long as usual. The genus has at least 100 different species and they vary in coloration. This particular species has two light spots near the end of its abdomen that boldly stand out against its black body. For this reason, its species name is bimaculata ("bi" meaning two; "macula" meaning spot). The hind legs have long yellow hairs on them, making them easier to tell apart from other medium-sized bees.
Longhorn Bees are quite common throughout North America. In the spring and early summer, they can be found collecting pollen from a variety of blooming flowers, especially in agricultural fields. Despite their ubiquity, few species have been studied well, so little is known about them. It is believed that females collect pollen grains for future consumption by newly hatched bee larvae.